By Cathryn Conroy, CompuServe News Editor
Eating lots of popcorn, along with other whole grain foods such as breads, cereals, brown rice, and slow-cooking oatmeal, may prevent Type 2 diabetes. That's right, folks. Popcorn is a health food! New research from Tufts University in Boston concludes that whole grain foods help protect against diabetes by improving our sensistivity to the hormone insulin.
Here's how popcorn can keep you healthy, according to WebMD: Type 2 diabetes, which was once called adult-onset diabetes, is usually caused by the body's failure to efficiently use the insulin it produces to break down sugar in our diet. That sugar is glucose. Glucose can build up in the blood and the pancreas. The pancreas produces insulin, and if there is too much glucose in the body, the pancreas goes into overdrive trying to produce enough insulin. High blood insulin levels, along with obesity and high cholesterol levels, are all risk factors for diabetes. What the Tufts University researchers discovered in their study that involved nearly 3,000 participants is that people who eat the most servings of whole grain foods also have lower body weight as measured through the Body Mass Index, and lower cholesterol levels. But there's a mystery. They don't know WHY. " We aren't really certain why whole grains affect insulin levels, but we suspect that there may be more than one reason, " lead researcher Paul F. Jacques told WebMD " Whole grain foods are high in fiber and magnesium, and people who eat these foods may have generally healthier lifestyles."